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The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s 

Ranker Film
Updated May 11, 2020 7.2k votes 979 voters 52.1k views 35 items

List Rules Only films released in other decades, but set in the 1980s. No movies released between 1980 and January 1, 1990.

Oh, man. The 1980s was quite a decade! Sure, '80s movies are awesome but this list goes deeper. Ranked here are the best movies about the '80s. Films from many decades have been set in the 80s, because who can resist a great eighties story? As long as a film was primarily set in that great, iconic decade of the 1980s, and was truly awesome, it belongs on this list. What are the all time best movies set in the '80s? Hollywood has some great options for '80s lovers and they're all ranked here, with trailers.

Madonna and Michael Jackson reigned supreme in the '80s music world, and the Brat Pack hit the film scene in the 80s. John Hughes made plenty of movies set in the '80s, but many great films about the 80s were released in the 1990s and 2000s as well. The unique culture and setting of the eighties, makes for a great movie backdrop, and some of the best stories told on film are tales of the 1980s.

The movies featured on this list include the likes of Scarface, No Country for Old Men, Let the Right One In, 200 Cigarettes, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Wonderland. What do you think are the best films about the 80s? Upvote them below, or, if they aren't already listed, feel free to add them for an even more comprehensive list that 80s lovers everywhere can enjoy.

Just remember, this isn't a list of the best 80s movies, these films all must be about and set sometime during the 1980s.

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1
Ranker Video
1998

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, William Michael Albert Broad, Christine Taylor, + more

Directed by: Frank Coraci

The Wedding Singer is a 1998 romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci. It stars Adam Sandler as a wedding singer in the 1980s and Drew Barrymore as a waitress ...more

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2
The Wolf of Wall Street ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
Tom Islava added 2013

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, + more

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort. An ambitious stockbroker (Leonardo DiCaprio) tells ...more

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3
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
carlybobarly added 2000

Actors: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, + more

Directed by: Mary Harron

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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4
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1996

Actors: Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Bruce Campbell, Peter Stormare, + more

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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5
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2007

Actors: Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald, + more

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

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6
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2010

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Directed by: Steve Pink

Hot Tub Time Machine is a 2010 American science fiction adventure comedy film directed by Steve Pink. It stars John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, ...more

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7
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2001

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Seth Rogen, + more

Directed by: Richard Kelly

Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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8
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1990

Actors: Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry, James Earl Jones, Jeffrey Jones, + more

Directed by: John McTiernan

The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John McTiernan, based on the 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine ...more

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9
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
carlybobarly added 1997

Actors: Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham, Burt Reynolds, Philip Seymour Hoffman, + more

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

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10
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AntoneSage added 2004

Actors: Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo, Renee Olstead, Judy Greer, + more

Directed by: Gary Winick

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11
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2006

Actors: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Dan Castellaneta, James Karen, + more

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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12
Call Me by Your Name is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
greys007fan added 2017

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Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 Italian-American romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino, based on Andre Aciman's novel of the same name. In 1980s Italy, a romantic ...more

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13
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AntoneSage added 1997

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Directed by: David Mirkin

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14
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Directed by: Michael Dowse

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15
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2009

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Directed by: Greg Mottola

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2013

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

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17
It is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
It 2017

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Directed by: Andy Muschietti

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2020

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Directed by: Rachel Lee Goldenberg

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19
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2001

Actors: Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, + more

Directed by: David Wain

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21
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2018

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2018

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24
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2008

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2010

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